Snippet: Josep Pla prize to Lluís Foix

On the same occasion as the Nadal prize there was awarded also the Josep Pla prize for a work written in Catalan [no limitation as to the genre, though normally given to novels for their supposed economic sucess], to the veteran journalist Lluís Foix (Rocafort de Vallbona, 1943) for Aquella porta giratòria [That revolving door]. The title refers to La Vanguardia newspaper’s old headquarters’ revolving door, where the author entered to work in 1969. It’s a book of a journalist’s impressions and a portrait of an epoch of that newspaper between 1969 and 1983, when Foix was made its editor in chief.

Foix continues with this book his life story that he began with La marinada sempre arriba [The seabreeze always arrives] that concentrated on his childhood and youth in rural Catalonia. In the new book he explains from the inside how journalism worked during the last years of the Franco dictatorship, he describes his trips throughout the world, and he portrays the newspaper’s publisher and some of his colleagues of that time.

According to the Source, the author said that “La Vanguardia is not a daily that has aspired to make governments fall or change society, but it is like one of those transport vessels that pass along the Rhine river, a daily that has wanted to explain society navigating its principal riverbed. Maybe that is the reason for its long history and its excellent health.”

Foix dedicated a great part of his professional life to international relations. He describes a trip to the US and portrays the presidents he got to know, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, and the secretary of state Henry Kissinger. He maintains that the old journalism of the 1970s, though with a lot less help of technology and less freedom, was basically the same as today and also important. “There was a lot of cultural restlessness, more books were read, there was a lot of talking in the news room, … a lot of eating and drinking.”

The book’s title reminds of that symbol of a news room open to society. “In the revolving door at Pelai [street] one could see enter and leave university professors, writers, it was and incessant coming and going.”

El título elegido por el autor recuerda precisamente aquel símbolo de una redacción abierta a la sociedad. “En la puerta giratoria de Pelai podías ver entrar y salir a catedráticos, escritores, era un ir y venir incesante”.

SOURCE: La Vanguardia, Jan. 6, 2016

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